Monarchs Take Sole Possession of Second by Defeating Hofstra, 96-82
By ODU Athletics
Feb. 13, 2007
NORFOLK, VA -- In a game where ODU shot just 23.8% from beyond the arc while opponent Hofstra (19-8, 12-4) shot 63.2% from outside, it was two three-pointers with just over ten minutes to go in the game that all but sealed the eighth straight victory for the Monarchs. Abdi Lidonde hadn't scored in the first 28 minutes and change, but nailed two jumpers from outside to give ODU some breathing room. Moments later he was fouled from outside and hit all three free throws to give ODU the first double-digit lead of the game. It was game-high scorer and rebounder Valdas Vasylius that made the loudest statement, however, with a meaningless dunk on a breakaway with just over a minute remaining. It was the last of Vasylius' career-high 31 points as ODU sealed the 96-82 win. The eight-game winning streak is the most since 1978-79 when ODU won 13 straight.
Vasylius scored twenty points and grabbed seven rebounds in the first frame to pace ODU to a five-point halftime lead. It was a frame that saw ODU grab more offensive rebounds than defensive (10-9) and go an unusual 1-of-12 from outside. Meanwhile, at the free-throw line, Vasylius didn't miss for eight points while the Pride missed five of their last six, including two with no time left on the clock.
Hofstra would tie up the ballgame at 55 all with 12:47 remaining on a Loren Stokes lay-up. It was then, however, that ODU would go on a 15-3 run, including the 9-0 Lidonde series. Old Dominion shot much better from three-point range, going 4-of-9 in the second half. The team also continued to rebound well, out rebounding the Pride 42-32 for the game.
The career night for Vasylius from the floor came on 10-of-12 shooting and 10-of-13 from the charity stripe. He also grabbed 12 rebounds, had two blocks, two assists, and just one turnover for his second straight double-double and fifth of his career. Three other Monarchs had double-digit points in Brian Henderson with 14, and Gerald Lee and Lidonde both with 13.
For Hofstra, it was the first time in over ten years that they had three players with at least twenty points. The Pride got 26 from Carlos Rivera, 21 from Loren Stokes, and 20 from Antoine Agudio. However, they only got six field goals from the rest of the team, and only two in the second half.
Old Dominion shot 50% from the field on 31-of-62 shooting while the Pride shot 47.6% on 30-of-63. The largest disparity was in the Monarchs edge from the free-throw line going 80.6% (29-36) without time ticking away and Hofstra shot just 45.5% (10-22). ODU's bench scored 32 points while Hofstra's only managed nine.
This is the third straight year ODU has won 20 or more games three straight years and this the first time ODU has won 20 or more before post season.
The Monarchs take their winning streak on the road to Toledo, Ohio for an ESPN BracketBusters game Saturday, February 17. Tip is set for 6:00 pm, as the game will be broadcast on ESPN 360.
ODU basketball fans are invited to watch Saturday's game at Toledo in the Constant Center hospitality rooms (Big Blue Rooms). The doors will open at 5:00 pm and food and beverages will be available for purchase.